Battle of Laupen, 21 June 1339

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Important battle in the history of Switzerland. The city of Bern, having expanded at the expense of the local feudal nobility, found itself under attack by a combined force raised by a league of the local lords. In response, Bern offered an alliance to the Forest Cantons, the victors of Morgarten, who responded by sending an army. The league troops were besieging Laupen, garrisoned by Bernese troops. The full levy of Bern, and the Confederate army (the Cantons), joined together, and using the forest as cover were able to surprise the league army.The confederate army formed up on a hilltop, and the league army formed up beneath them, with their cavalry on their right, where the slope was shallowest, and their infantry on the left, where horses would be less effective. Most of the league infantry was unsteady feudal levy, although there was a solid body troops from Freiburg. The league army formed up, and had begun to advance up the slope, when the confederate army attacked them down the hill in columns. On the league left, the Freiburg infantry was smashed by the charging troops, and the rest of the league infantry fled. On the right, the league cavalry was engaged in fierce combat with the troops from the Forest Cantons, but when the victors from the left joined the attack, the league army was defeated. League losses were heavy, but many of them were suffered after the battle, when many horsemen forced into the river Sense drowned. This time the feudal army had been defeated on terrain well suited to it.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (4 October 2000), Battle of Laupen, 21 June 1339, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_laupen.html

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